CBH bin transparency urged

Jo FulwoodCountryman

York grower Peter Boyle said while the strategy to rationalise the CBH storage network was not new, and had in fact been in the CBH pipeline for many months, it was important for all growers to have the opportunity to discuss the issue openly and transparently.

Mr York attended the first of CBH’s grower meetings in Northam last Friday, rating it “a 6/10”.

“I urge CBH to release the list of storage sites earmarked for closure to all growers,” he said.

Mr Boyle said without media present at the grower meetings, it was impossible for growers who couldn’t attend meetings at this busy time of the year to see which bins would close and when.

“The information on the bin closures was interesting, particularly in terms of how many extra tonnes would be going onto roads. This is obviously a concern for Local Governments, and CBH has estimated that 430,000 extra tonnes would be put on the road,” he said.

“But the detail on the closures wasn’t really clear, and they did say that if certain bins marked for closure received a reasonable amount of grain, then they would review it, but I think this could delay the inevitable, and growers will end up putting lots of pressure on their zone directors.”

In regard to the AGC proposal Mr Boyle said it was essential for growers to see an independent analysis of the value of the CBH company, and the reasons for the rejection of the offer.

“How do we know it’s a good deal when we don’t know what the value of the company is and this is where we need the media to be present to analyse this for us,” he said.

“The presenters said that when there is a takeover or a merger, it should be at a premium not a discount of 30 per cent, but how do we know if the company has been accurately valued or not.

“We can’t drive this debate with fear.

“Any debate about bin closures or the AGC proposal needs to be transparent and growers need to be able to see the fine print.”

Mr Boyle said CBH management told growers at the meeting they planned to release a corporatisation model to growers after seeding.

“What I want to know is how is CBH defending our asset against diminishing valuation and increasing competition.”

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